1st Edition

Moral Enhancement and the Public Good

By Parker Crutchfield Copyright 2021

    Currently, humans lack the cognitive and moral capacities to prevent the widespread suffering associated with collective risks, like pandemics, climate change, or even asteroids. In Moral Enhancement and the Public Good, Parker Crutchfield argues for the controversial and initially counterintuitive claim that everyone should be administered a substance that makes us better people. Furthermore, he argues that it should be administered without our knowledge. That is, moral bioenhancement should be both compulsory and covert. Crutchfield demonstrates how our duty to future generations and our epistemic inability to promote the public good highlight the need for compulsory, covert moral bioenhancement. This not only gives us the best chance of preventing widespread suffering, compared to other interventions (or doing nothing), it also best promotes liberty, autonomy, and equality. In a final chapter, Crutchfield addresses the most salient objections to his argument.



    1. Disease and Treatment

    2. Preventing Harm

    3. An Epistemic Argument for Compulsory Moral Bioenhancement

    4. A Moral Argument for Compulsory Moral Bioenhancement

    5. The Proposal

    6. The Epistemology of Moral Bioenhancement

    7. Covert Moral Bioenhancement

    8. Transparency

    9. Libertarian Covert Compulsory Moral Bioenhancement



    Parker Crutchfield is Associate Professor in Medical Ethics, Humanities, and Law at Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine. He writes in bioethics and epistemology, teaches medical ethics to medical students and resident physicians, and provides clinical ethics consultations.